Five years of development at the former Case-IH site in East Moline will generate 2,000 jobs and cost about about $150 million, according to its developer.
A revitalized version of the proposed development was shared Wednesday by River Eagle group, composed of Mike VanDeHeede, Matt Stern, Dan Murphy and state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline.
In 2010, the group announced it had bought 132 acres of the site for about $1.5 million with the intention of developing it into a mixed business and residential district initially named Port of Call Quad Cities.
It since has received a new name -- Fountainhead of the Quad Cities -- and a new design, including 250 rooms in the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels, a park of more than three acre with a band stand and a sports center, said J. Paul Beitler, president of Beitler Real Estate Services LLC, River Eagle's developer.
“This will be the largest single multi-use development in Illinois,” Mr. Beitler said during a news conference Wednesday at East Moline's City Hall.
The project is expected to start this summer with infrastructure work and the park. The first buildings to be erected will be the hotel complex and 300 apartments, he said.
Mr. Beitler said they hope to have the hotel open within 18 to 20 months. The hotel complex will be equally divided between overnight and extended-stay accommodations, he said.
Then will come the development's retail sections, which will include a gas station, a pharmacy and a bank.
In total, the work could take three to five years, he said. The projected 2,000 jobs include both construction and permanent jobs.
Helmut Jahn, the architect for the hotel, said he wants it to be more than just a place to stay. He wants it to be a public place.
“It relates to the river,” he said. “It becomes a special place.” Visitors will be able to watch bald eagles or participate in events, he said.
The proposal includes a sports center with basketball and soccer courts, condominiums, housing for senior citizens and a self-storage facility, according to information presented at the news conference.
East Moline Mayor John Thodos said he liked the updated plan.
“It's much better than earlier concepts I've seen for the ground,” he said.
Also on Wednesday, the city held a public hearing on a tax increment financing district for the project.
In late 2011, the city council created a TIF district for the River Eagle project. Late last year, however, city officials and Mr. VanDeHeede of River Eagle said the tax assessment never was adjusted to reflect the $1.5 million paid for the property and, instead, cited an older, much higher valuation of about $6 million, meaning River Eagle was paying too much tax.
To rectify the situation, River Eagle must have Rock Island County change the assessment, and the TIF district must be dissolved and recreated. Creating a new district is the only way to adjust the TIF under state law, Mayor Thodos said at the time.
The new TIF district will reflect the adjusted tax assessment and will be known by the project's original name, "Port of Call," city administrator Cole O'Donnell said Wednesday night.
A handful or people were present at the hearing, but no questions were asked. Afterward, Janet Neff of the East Moline school board said she thought the plan would be good for the city.
"I think East Moline needs more development," she said.
Marcos Alvarez, an East Moline resident, said he was concerned about the effect the project might have on a nearby mobile home park. Officials told him there would be none.
Today is Thursday, Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2014. There are 132 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Sheriff McLaughlin had the misfortune to dislocate his right shoulder some days ago when his carriage upset. He is now able to walk about but has a very sore shoulder. 1889 -- 125 years ago: A kindergarten was started in the downtown district of Rock Island with the Misses Dodie Hawes and Grace Knowlton as teachers. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pope Pius X died in Rome. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater was named Esquire. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The J.I. Case Co. plant in Bettendorf will add from 150 to 200 employees by Jan. 1 a spokesman for the company said today. The Bettendorf Works today had a payroll of 1,350, but an increased production schedule will require additional people. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illowa Council Boy Scouts of America reached and passed its campaign goal in a drive that began 14 months ago by raising more than $2.2 million for the expansion of Loud Thunder Reservation near Andalusia.